This is not a blog about Japan. I’m far more egocentric than that, so it’s a blog about me and stuff I find diverting.

I do however live and work in Japan, so I imagine it’ll feature fairly regularly. I’ll probably be making a fair few comments along the lines of ‘The situation in Japan is X,’ or ‘Japanese people can be very Y.’

Obviously, obviously, this doesn’t necessarily mean that properties X and Y are uniquely or universally Japanese, or better or worse in Japan than any other country you care to name. They might well be, but if I’m going to make an explicit comparison then I’ll actually make an explicit comparison.

Comparisons are useful. They help create context, and context is vital for comprehension. But if something is bad, some other thing being even worse doesn’t make it better. Equally, praise of one thing doesn’t automatically mean condemnation of another. Don’t imagine I’m having a pop at your pet hobbyhorse just because I’m riding some other pony. Or something.

You might also want to look up the Ecological Fallacy. Go on, have a look now, I won’t mind. In fact, spend a while browsing Wikipedia’s Logical Fallacy articles, it’ll probably save us all some grief.